Economy, Trade & Finance

Economics, trade, and government finance have significant impacts on Canadian politics and public policy. Find articles on the nature and issues of these key political factors.

Harmonized Sales Tax: Overview, History and Debates

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jan 19, 2010

An issue of some contention — one that has resulted in an intersection between the areas of federal government tax policy and Canadian federalism — is the merging of separate federal and provincial sales taxes into a single tax, known as the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The HST represents an important form of cooperation between different levels of government and, at the same time, a source of debate — particularly in the realms of provincial politics. This article provides an introduction to the HST and explores topics including its origins/history and key debates.

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Federal Fiscal Policy in Canada: History, Operation, and Trends in the Global Recession

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Oct 13, 2009

With the global economic recession of 2008-09, and the various attempts by the Canadian government and its counterparts around the world to address their economic difficulties, the issue of fiscal policy has come to the fore, earning significant public attention. This article provides an introduction to Canadian fiscal policy at the federal level of government.

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Alberta’s Oil Sands: Key Issues and Impacts

Feature by Jordan Best and George Hoberg || Jun 18, 2008

Northern Alberta’s oil sands are increasingly becoming a source of political conflict, both domestically and globally, as scrutiny of the world’s second-largest known oil reserve intensifies.

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The Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 10, 2008

The Canada-US softwood lumber dispute has been one of the longest and most significant trade disputes between the two countries in modern history. Central to the dispute is not only competition between Canadian and US softwood lumber companies, but also conflict over basic forestry management styles. This article discusses the North American softwood lumber industry and explains the nature of the dispute, including its basic issues, its history and the signing of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement.

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Auto Insurance in Canada: Overview and Issues

Feature by Jay Makarenko || May 2, 2008

Auto insurance is a central issue in provincial and territorial politics, and a highly complex area of public policy. In Canada, the industry reflects a collection of provincial and territorial systems, each differing significantly in how auto insurance is delivered and regulated. This article offers an introduction into auto insurance policy in Canada, and includes a look at auto insurance in the context of federalism, alternative models of auto insurance, provincial/territorial auto insurance systems, and key issues and debates in this public policy area.

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Fiscal Imbalance Debate: Origins and Perspectives

Feature by Brian Doody || Dec 18, 2007

Federal-provincial relations in Canada have been dominated in recent years by debate over the “fiscal imbalance,” defined as the apparent shortfall of provincial government revenues compared to the federal government’s surpluses, relative to the spending requirements of each level of government under the Constitution.  This article gives an overview of debate on the fiscal imbalance in Canada, including a summary of its origins, as well as discussions of alternative perspectives on the issue.

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The Goods and Services Tax: Overview & History

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Aug 31, 2007

The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented a significant change to Canada’s system of taxation, was well as a major source of debate in Canadian politics. This article provides an introduction to the GST, which includes an overview of its operation, a review of its political history, and a summary of key debates on the GST.

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The Canadian Wheat Board

Feature by Rhonda Parkinson || Jun 1, 2007

Central to the Western Canadian grain industry is the Canadian Wheat Board, which is the sole marketer of western Canadian wheat and barley sold for human consumption. This article discusses the Canadian Wheat Board, including its mandate and operation, the history of wheat regulation in Canada, as well as current debates and pressures on the Board.

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The Canadian Dollar: Nature and Impacts of Canadian Exchange Rates

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Feb 1, 2007

The value of the Canadian dollar relative to other national currencies plays an important role in the political and economic life of the nation.

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